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Simon Reynolds

Culture critic and music journalist

Simon Reynolds (London, 1963) is an unusual culture critic and music journalist who can both tell how he’s danced (notebook in hand) at improvised electronic raves somewhere along the M25 motorway and cite thinkers such as Jacques Derrida or Roland Barthes to analyse new outbursts or mutations of pop music. Since he started his first music fanzine while studying history at Oxford, before coming to attention as one of the most personal contributors to Melody Maker, he has written about music, but always from the viewpoint of gender, race or social class. These topics have provided the subject matter for his articles in newspapers such as The Wire, The New York Times or The Guardian, and for his acclaimed books: on the relation between bohemian white rock and black street culture, or between the working class and avant-garde electronic music, among other phenomena. He also, creating the concept of retromania to refer to an overly nostalgic culture, predicts that pop ends “not with a BANG but with a box set whose fourth disc you never get around to playing”. His latest work, Shock and Awe. Glam Rock and its Legacy (2017), analyses this androgynous, working-class, avant-garde genre that has made its mark on him since his early childhood and contains all the keys to this unique pop thinker.

Bio written by Miqui Otero, co-director of CCCB's Primera Persona festival.

Update: 3 April 2018


Has participated in

Primera Persona 2018

Autobiographic live sessions: stand-up comedy, pop music, theatre and narrative